Change Research – Romantic Relationships Satisfied Or Sabotaged
Romantic partners’ emotions help or hinder the relationship when one or both are seeking a change of some sort.
A study by Le at al. (2020) was conducted using 111 romantic couples (222 people) instructed to discuss a characteristic they wanted their partner to change. Whilst doing so, the couples assessed their own emotions and their perception of their partner’s emotions.
The results of the study suggest that the mere presence of socially destructive ‘dominance emotions’ such as anger and contempt – which frequently manifest as a romantic partner blaming, attacking, or reacting defensively – undermines the quality of the relationship regardless of whether the partner receiving such dominating emotions even detects the emotions or not when discussing change. On the other hand, when one partner detects in…